Trade For…A Starter!

Yesterday, I outlined five possible ways for the Yankees to improve their current club. Today, I start with the starting pitching.

The case for upgrading: The Yankees rank 22nd in baseball in terms of starter ERA. They rank 23rd in terms of innings pitched by starters.

The case against upgrading: Starting pitching is the most expensive commodity in baseball. Ivan Nova has just returned and may stabilize the rotation. Yankees may be too stubborn to replace their weakest starter (Sabathia) anyway.

To me the key question to upgrading the rotation is- who are you pulling out of it if you make a trade? If the answer is anyone besides Sabathia, I am really not interested. I have made the case against Sabathia a few times over the past few weeks, let me now make a case that the other four starters should stay in the rotation.

I think Tanaka and Pineda have shown enough potential that nobody would make a serious argument that they should be removed from the rotation if Sabathia stays. While Nova may or may not have, he just got back, so let’s look closer at Eovaldi. He has been maddeningly inconsistent, but the stuff is fantastic, and his FIP is 3.76- almost a run below Sabathia’s. He is inexpensive and under team control until after 2017. The Yankees have every reason to keep trying to develop him and at age 25, he is more than young enough to improve.

So, while I hope the Yankees do try to improve their rotation, I will only be happy if they do so at the expense of Sabathia. CC was great, but he appears done, and the money invested in his contract is a sunk cost. If the go this route, I hope they realize that.